1/45: Royal Trux “Back to School” c/w “Cleveland” (1993)



It’s that time of year again, and there’s not a shortage of songs about the end of summer and the return to school.

One of my favorites, though, is this little slice of wax, delivered at the hands of noise/trash rockers Royal Trux. While their albums were trippy, heady journeys into sound, Royal Trux’s singles were often concise, powerful blasts of rock and roll.

Released in 1993, “Back to School” is easily one of the band’s greatest moments. It’s a blues number, with Neil Hagerty‘s lyrics both bemoaning the end of summer while nostalgia burns through the entire affair and some heady guitar plays underneath it all.

“Cleveland,” the flipside, turns things up a bit, a swaggering blues rocker that seems to come straight out of 1972 FM radio. Jennifer Herrema is in fine voice, too, as she tells her tale of woe and sin.

At the time, “Back to School” was the penultimate Royal Trux release on Drag City, and it marked a creative time for the band; a highlight that would be followed by an even better single, “Mercury,” and a brief but interesting foray into major label territory. Still, it’s a great little record that’s well worth seeking out.

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